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Is This the End of Tax-Free Online Purchases?

This month, after a many-year process, the Senate has officially passed a bill which could mean the end of tax-free online purchases.  With the "Marketplace Act of 2013", states will now have the authority to collect taxes from online storefronts.  Technically speaking, online purchasers were supposed to be accounting for these taxes on their tax return already, but as this was rarely done, this bill will account for the previously uncollected tax revenue.

Amazon is a supporter of the bill, as they have embraced a sales model which uses local facilities, and this bill would be useful towards that process. 

In contrast, both Etsy and eBay feel that this tax will be an inconvenience to small sellers - the threshold of those who would tax is currently set at businesses that sell $1 million and over, but Etsy and eBay feel it is too low.  Additionally, the White House supports the bill, and feels that it will help to "eliminate the unfair advantage currently enjoyed by big out-of-state online companies over local neighborhood-based small businesses." 

Will this help or hinder the online sales front community?  Should this tax be a regulated implementation?  Will this change your online shopping habits?  Is there a better way to "level the playing field" between the bog boys and the neighborhood-based businesses as it relates to paying or avoiding sales tax?

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).